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About Roger

Perhaps for the reason that photography preserves the appearance of an object or event, it is the most ubiquitous of all art forms. In our world of smart phones and social media, everyone carries a camera. But to the artist, there is nothing casual about photography. The real world is filled with artistic choices. It is the intuition and judgment of the artist which lends coherence and beauty to a photograph. John Berger wrote that in every act of looking there is an... more

Once a River...

Once a river flowed through a wooded valley and carried fresh water to the bay. It ran clean and clear, filled with life. Settlers moved into the area and the river was given a name, Jones Falls. Over time the human population surrounding the stream grew by many fold and threatened the health of J.F. and its tributaries. Neighborhoods increased resulting in floods and accumulating sewage. Jones Falls, no longer the pristine waterway it once was, became a "problem."
Leaders of the City treasured the river valley as a transportation corridor. As sewage systems aged they could no longer accommodate the volume of human waste, and overflow dumped raw sewage into an already polluted waterway. Jones Falls was channeled to minimize flood damage. It was covered by an elevated highway. Finally suffering the ultimate indignity, it was buried. At North Avenue, in downtown Baltimore, Jones Falls enters three large culverts, only emerging again as it nears the Harbor.
I live in the City nears Jones Falls and began photographing the stream as I traveled along its course. I found moments of natural beauty where deer and fox can be seen using trails at the water's edge. Many times I watched kingfishers dip into the water in search of a meal. I once encountered a young man who said he often leaves work at noon just to sit near the water and enjoy his lunch. In spite of all that has taken place, the beauty and worth of this natural waterway still lives.

  • first channel

    ,,,as the waterway enters the City it encounters a first channel built to protect the highway.
  • apron of concrete

    ...living plants filter pollutants from the stream.
  • reflections

    ...historic mills offer a glimpse of the past
  • bridge view

    ...every day thousands of cars pass within a stone's throw
  • solitude

    ...there are moments of solitude amid the chaos of a crowded city
  • open sewer

    ...where does it come from, what does it carry
  • still water

    ... oils acumulate in the still water along a bend in the stream
  • corridor

    ...Jones Falls continues to flow in spite of all we do

Once a River (2)...

There are good people working hard to ensure a brighter future for the Jones Falls. The benefits are many; but resources are scarce. In a city with a myriad of social and economic issues to solve, it seems there is not enough time, not enough money, not enough people power. I can only say to you all, stay at it. What you do for the river matters, it matters to all of us.
I will continue to photograph the Jones Falls through all seasons, through good times and bad, with the hope that these images offer encouragement and thanks.

Color Fields

In the 1950s in New York there were seven artists who were central to the rise of abstract painting and helped to define the course of modern and contemporary art. The abstract expressionists, as they were called by the art critics of the time, sought to create paintings that were about painting, about color, about method, about basic human emotions. Mark Rothko, one of the seven, sought to make paintings that "would bring people to tears."
With this project I strive to emulate their commitment to a personal vision employing photography and the natural world.

Being Human

A small town photographer in Arkansas named Mike Disfarmer photographed the people of his area with great respect and dignity. He worked just prior to W.W. II, and many of his photographs are of soldiers and girlfriends, or local farmers living tough lives working the land. The authenticity of Disfarmer's body of work is what one strives for as an artist.

Continuum

For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other Nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the Earth.
Henry Beston



I have been fortunate to live much of my life in the company of wild animals, in zoos and in the wild. I hope to convey a sense of their true self, sometimes fierce, sometimes whimsical, sometimes mysterious, always beautiful.

Evil Lives Here

I woke up yesterday morning, turned on the news of the day', and listened to stories of war and genocide, stories of murder and rape, stories of abuse and hurt. My God, I thought, how can so much evil exist in this world. So much in fact, it must have a home, a place where evil dwells. I set out to find that place.
I made inquiries and was told to follow a worn road to the edge of a fractured forest, arriving at an enormous abandoned building where sunlight barely penetrates the chill of a coming night.
But I failed in my search. Whatever dwelled in this place was now gone.I found a black hole that opened to a lower world. I found cords of wood stacked high like bodies destined for cremation. Mostly I found ashes and the remains of ashes, borne on the wind and carried to all lands, settling down on all peoples.

Skin

In architecture, what we see when we look at a building is called the skin. Some architects, Louis Kahn or Frank Gehry for instance, are known for their use of certain materials to create a clearly recognizable surface. One glance at the concert hall in Los Angeles and you know it's a Gehry building.
Unlike New York or Chicago, here in Baltimore we have few structures designed by the very famous. Instead, what we encounter every day on our way to work or school, are structures covered with personal statements; color and surface choices made by individual business and home owners, or the remnants of history (formstone for instance), and the weathering of time and neglect. The result: perhaps the most varied, colorful, whimsical, and sometimes sorrowful, array of architecture in America.

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Roger's Curated Collection

View Roger's favorite works from other Baker Artists